Having a laugh can boost your mental health

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Free course on how making each other laugh can support self-esteem and aid recovery.

They say laughter is the best medicine, so if life is taking you too seriously, a series of comedy workshops, to help boost your mental health, could be just what the doctor ordered!

Recovery College NHFT is teaming up with Bright Sparks to offer a ‘Humour for Recovery’ course consisting of six fun-filled sessions about how art of making each other laugh can improve confidence, self-esteem, teamwork, literacy skills and in turn aid recovery.

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Bright Sparks is made up of a team of comedians, writers and mental health service users - known collectively as The Comedy Asylum - who create and perform comedy shows. They’ve run workshops and deliver comedy courses at several Recovery Colleges, as well as bespoke workshops in comedy, improvisation and creative writing in inpatient mental health units.

The Comedy Asylum on stage; they will be running the Humour For Recovery courseThe Comedy Asylum on stage; they will be running the Humour For Recovery course
The Comedy Asylum on stage; they will be running the Humour For Recovery course

Each ‘Humour for Recovery’ session is really supportive and includes a variety of improvisation games, discussion, and celebration of some of our favourite comics, the biology of laughter and formulas for creating different types of comedy.

To book this free course, taking place at Kettering Arts Centre at St Andrews Church, Lindsay Street Kettering, NN16 8RG, you must be able to attend all six sessions which take place on:

  • Tuesday 4 June 2024, 2pm - 4pm
  • Tuesday 11 June 2024, 2pm - 4pm
  • Tuesday 18 June 2024, 2pm - 4pm
  • Tuesday 25 June 2024, 2pm - 4pm
  • Tuesday 2 July 2024, 2pm - 4pm
  • Tuesday 9 July 2024, 2pm - 4pm

Nic Oliver, Recovery College NHFT manager, said: “Anyone who’s been to our brilliant ‘Clowning Around’ courses previously will know about the power of laughter to heal and help on a recovery journey. This much-anticipated series of courses promises to be a lot of fun, with laughter and learning in a relaxed, supportive environment.”

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Rob Gee from The Comedy AsylumRob Gee from The Comedy Asylum
Rob Gee from The Comedy Asylum

The Bright Sparks team said: “A mental health episode can happen to any of us and we believe that when life does take us too seriously, we need good humour more than ever. We give people the chance to engage with comedy at all stages of their recovery.”

To book a place on the ‘Humour for Recovery’ course visit www.nhft.nhs.uk/recovery-college and click ‘enrol with the college’, or book directly here if you are already a registered student.

Recovery College NHFT offers courses on a range of topics. All courses are free – with both in-person and online sessions on offer. They are available for anyone over 18 years old who is a current or previous NHFT service user, their family and friends, carers, members of partner organisations, and NHFT staff. People who have been referred to NHFT, but who are currently awaiting treatment, are also eligible to attend the courses.

Find out what courses are on offer, and other information about how to register and enrol, at www.nhft.nhs.uk/recovery-college or email [email protected] or call 03000 270470 (phone lines are open 9am-4.30pm Monday-Friday).

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